New poll shows Obama’s lead over Romney increasing slightly

President Barack Obama greets members of the audience after delivering remarks at an election campaign fundraiser in Stamford, Connecticut.
(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future but voters do not seem to be holding it against Democratic President Barack Obama, who slightly expanded his lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney this month, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

Three months before the November 6 presidential election, nearly two-thirds of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction. Only 31 percent say it is moving in the right direction – the lowest number since December 2011.

But Obama’s lead over Romney among registered voters was 49 percent to 42 percent, up slightly from the 6-point advantage the president held a month earlier over the former Massachusetts governor.

The results of the monthly poll – in which a majority of voters agreed that the economy is the most important problem facing the United States – suggest that the Obama campaign’s efforts to paint Romney as being out of touch with the concerns of middle-class Americans could be preventing the Republican from gaining momentum in the race.

“The overall ‘right track, wrong track’ is worse than last month – the news hasn’t been great lately,” said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson. “But Obama seems to be, to some extent, inoculated against some of the worst of that.”

The telephone poll of 1,168 adults, including 1,014 registered voters, was taken from August 2 to August 6. During that period, the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers hired the most workers in five months but that the nation’s jobless rate had risen to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent.

Even so, in a reversal from July, registered voters thought Obama was stronger than Romney in dealing with jobs and the economy, and with tax issues.

The poll indicated that 46 percent of registered voters thought Obama was stronger on jobs and the economy, compared with 44 percent for Romney. And on tax matters, 49 percent saw Obama as stronger, compared with 38 percent for Romney.

In an advertising blitz that has been focused on a dozen politically divided states, Obama and his Democratic allies have been hammering Romney’s record as a private equity executive at Bain Capital, accusing him of plundering companies and shipping jobs overseas.

‘KITCHEN SINK’ STRATEGY

The Obama team’s ads also have questioned why Romney – who has an estimated fortune of up to $250 million – will not release more than two years of tax returns, and have suggested that Romney has paid far lower tax rates than most Americans.

“The Democrats’ current strategy of just pummeling Romney on Bain and on the economy has been kind of a kitchen sink thing,” Jackson said. “Even if it’s not necessarily hurt Romney, it’s given him no opportunity to build a lead.”

Obama’s new lead on the issue of jobs and the economy is particularly significant, Jackson said.

“That is the key issue in this race,” he said. “For Romney to be able to make a convincing argument and to win the election, he’s going to have to have a fairly significant lead over Obama on that measure.”

Jackson said Romney – who has based his campaign on the notion that he would be better than Obama at dealing with the economy – likely needs to have at least a 5- to 8-point lead over Obama on the jobs and economy issue to win the election.

“There’s certainly no case at the moment that Romney’s building some sort of momentum toward victory here,” Jackson said.

The Reuters/Ipsos survey, conducted over landline and cell phones, has a margin of error of 3 percent for all adults and 3.4 percent for registered voters.

(For the full poll, please click on the following link: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5715)

(Editing by David Lindsey and Vicki Allen)

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3 Responses to "New poll shows Obama’s lead over Romney increasing slightly"

  1. Sandy Price  August 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

    It is one thing to show fiscal responsibility but if we follow the Conservative agenda, many Americans will be left out in the storm of extreme need. I’ve never been a promoter of welfare but after seeing the results of the Bush mistakes in spending, we cannot leave this attack on employment benefits to destroy the middle class. The wars have depleted our ability to even feed our children.

    Continuing the waste by Obama is as bad as having Bush for another 2 terms. But even discussisng a Romney double term is human cruelty. Why are we even discussing this?

  2. alex  August 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Who cares what a new poll says? Obama’s problem is that he is a product of marketing (as they all are) without any product! An image only, without substance. Obama is like a before/after picture. When you look at the before pic (2008) and then look at the after pic (2012), the before pic is the image of what Obama wanted everyone to believe about him, and the after pic is what Obama was and is in reality, he simply cannot sell the before pic to anyone, already been done, so he has to win by his true nature if he can, so he attacks Romney relentlessly to divert attention from his nothingness, because he has nothing to show for his time in office. And alot of people in this country , the reasoning goes, will stay with the devil they know rather than the one they don’t, even though Romney has been around for awhile.

    Romney’s problem is not that Obama is making him look out of touch with his dirty campaigning, though this is true to an extent, Romney’s problem is, is that he actually is out of touch. He doesn’t even need to say anything, just stand in a crowd of people and he seems disconnected, because he is. Romney does not seem to be constrained by any convictions of his own. This is why he was chosen by the GOP establishment, a virtual “yes man” to be molded by the whims of those who want to continue the status quo. He changes his stripes often to whatever circumstances dictate. And he does not seem to have a clear vision as to what he wants to do, he simply wants to appear as opposite to Obama as much as he can, though he is not, and maybe muddle through to the presidency.

    And the people continue every election cycle to play, or allow to be played the same political games of lies and manipulation, and the same old and tired arguements from the right and left that continue to put the party of the status quo (that’s dems and repubs) in power!

    I had to get this off my chest!

  3. Sandy Price  August 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Romney is the product of a very white America. This is an America that I do not want. I want a leader who represents the cross section of all Americans. In my observation of what the people of America are, is not all white, all Christians, and certainly not all women who bow and curtsey to the men. In my world, it is the women who pay more than half the bills, set the standards in the homes and schools.

    Romney frightens the Conservatives as he is dumb enough to do exactly as he is told. I know exactly what Romney can do when in the White House. He will keep America in war as a diversion to the power he will hand out to men of power. He has not been honest in his association with the LDS (Mormon) church. Romney and I have the same great grandfather and I was raised in the same gobbledegook that was organized by a very secret angel ghost named Moroni. Everything in the church is done in secret and behind locked doors.

    Romney does as he is told and for generations never had to think or act as an individual. For several hundred years, Mormons were instruction to act normal. Any Mormon leader has to report to the Prophet in Salt Lake City for an evaluation. Not even the Catholics are programmed this far. The church had chosen a great Prophet for years (Bensen) and things went smoothley. We have a very different Prophet at this time and a most obedient LDS member running for President.

    Is your choice for a President a man who driven as a white man married to a very obedient women who looks at him as someone to worship and many children who have given their lives to the church?

    In my very long life, I never voted for a Democrat but this time I cannot vote for anyone who follows the hysteria that is the LDS. This is what you choose without any valid reason. I would have less problem with Scientology. I would trust another Hitler over a tongue tied Mormon.

    I remember the end of WW2 and the relief that the slaughter was over. The American people learned nothing from WW2 and the folly of electing a total idiot in G.W. Bush. It is a game played for the television cameras.

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